Modular translucent facade elements

Rodeca installed its polycarbonate panels on the GTB Lab. First, the main roof, then the core and finally the circular GTB Module. The material has the same insulation value as triple glass and allow daylight entering the building, but also has some advantageous reversible properties. It is not as fragile as glass and is more than 10 times lighter. More importantly, assembly and disassembly of the elements are quick, easy and with a minimum of waste creation. The reversible GTB Lab Module shows that CO2 emissions per m2 facade of the polycarbonate panel are 12.5 times lower than glass, not to mention the avoided CO2 emissions due to the lighter supporting structure.

​The main roof


Scaffolding for placing the gutters and roofing elements.



Conventional tools for cutting the aluminium frames to size.



The main roof is quickly filled with panels.


​At the corner the roof edge frame is screwed to the eave.


The panels are joined together using a hammer. The intermediary profile that clamps around the notches is screwed to the substructures.


The final result is a tight roof.


Detail of the joint between the panels and the intermediary aluminium profile.



Aluminium profiles are clamped on the panel edge and end caps are screwed for finishing the notches.


The core of the building that rises above the roof uses facade panels which are seamlessly interconnected to form a closed facade.


The core


The modular system allows the create flexible openings. The gap here enables natural draught and air flows via the core of the buidling.



Below the roof, workers started to assemble facade profiles on the steel structure.


The interruption of the facade panels at the position of the steel beam allows for future extensions of the GTB Lab, without damaging the entire facade.



The rounded corner is created by removing material from the inside and bending it under slight heating.


The vertical intermediary profiles connect the panels with the steel structure.


Rubber gaskets are pushed between the profile and the polycarbonate to create a watertight skin.



The horizontal aluminium profile is connected by self-drilling screws.


Pop rivets and corner connectors assemble the corners together.



Details you rarely see on drawings.



Each panel is placed in the horizontal profiles above and below. For larger spans, an additional vertical profile is placed. This intermediary fastener is pushed against the panel and screwed to the steel.


Closer look to the typical profile geometry of the intermediary vertical fastener between two panels, and screwed to the steel with a corner connection.


The protective film can be removed.



The intermediary fasteners on ground level are blind mounted with corners inside its profile.



Quickly...


...getting...



...there.


Translucent doors come preassembled.




Besides air flows, the heart of the building pumps light into the GTB Lab.


The circular module


Butyl tape and vapor-permeable tape to avoid dirt entering the chambers.



The roof ridges and purlins connect the intermediate aluminium profile to the steel structure of the module.



The intermediary allow repair and replacement of roof panels without damaging the substructure.





When the profiles are fastened, the panels are inserted




creating a healthy daylight zone.


The aluminium facade profile is also screwed on the steel structure - the base of the module - just below the roof profile. Corner connectors and pop rivets connect the different profiles.


Panels are clamped by the window profiles at the bottom and the rodeca profile at the top.


Pushing the last panel into its place.


At the corner the panel also makes use of the facade clamp.


Temporary fastening.


Finished.

​Overview